Are you looking to reduce workplace injuries and accidents to minimise the costs associated with worker’s compensation? Are your organisation’s main core business objectives include improving productivity and product quality?
If so, enhancing your company’s workplace ergonomics process should be a top priority.
Many companies, both large and small,have already demonstrated the value of ergonomicsin the past decades. There is little doubt that workplace ergonomics has numerous benefits both for companies and their employees.
Keep reading to learn how a workplace ergonomics process affects productivity, cost, quality, morale, risk and employee turnover.
Table of Contents
WHAT IS OFFICE ERGONOMICS?
Specifically, ergonomics is the study of the connection between a worker and the important functions of a job. This study focuses on how workers position their bodies and interact with the work environment. Simply put, workplace ergonomics is about modifying a job and work environment that is safer and more comfortable for the worker.
Poor ergonomics in the workplace can cause pain and injury, which often leads to lost work time. Consequently, downtime can cost an organisation a significant amount of money.
Ergonomics in the workplace, such as office ergonomics, relates to items such as computer monitor stands, desks, chairs and other elements that make up an employee’s workstation. Office ergonomics focuses on the workers to ensure they are not at risk of workplace injuries or health complications.
Organisations seeking benefits that increase profits and improve productivity invest in ergonomic solutions. Office, medical, service and manufacturing industries all have work tasks with poor ergonomics.
In an office setting, ergonomics means finding a way to be comfortable using a telephone or a computer and performing office work tasks such as copying and faxing.
For instance, an employee of your organisation is having shoulder pain that’s been causing his or her productivity to slow down. This employee’s job functions include data entry and making calls.
Solutions to this problem may include:
- Purchasing ergonomic products
- Applying certain ergonomic designs and
- Implementing administrative changes
An example of an ergonomic product is adjustable office equipment based on a person’s body type. This equipment may even be specifically designed to reduce stress on the body.
Examples of ergonomic products include:
- Hearing protection
- Patient lifts
- Pneumatic tools
- Lifting devices, etc.
For those working in an office environment, the ergonomic solution would be using an adjustable workstation, cordless headset, ergonomic chair, alternative keyboard, etc.
Designing a comfortable working environment involves focusing on the proper placement of office equipment and the proper lifting of heavy objects. To reduce the risk of work-related injuries, an office worker should properly adjust his computer workstation and adjust his/her chair according to his/her body type.
Administrative changes are often very straightforward. Examples are taking stretch breaks, avoiding prolonged periods of sitting and certain repetitive movements.
WHAT ARE THE 5 PROVEN BENEFITS OF ERGONOMICS IN THE WORKPLACE?
According to astudy, the 5 proven benefits of ergonomics in the workplace are a reduction of costs, an improvement in productivity & quality, better employee engagement and the creation of a better safety culture.
Ergonomics reduces costs
A systematic reduction of ergonomic risk factors can prevent costly work-related injuries such as MSDs or Musculoskeletal Disorders. Ergonomic injuries such as MSDs have been attributed to around$1 out of every $3 in workers’ compensation costs. Methodically reducing ergonomic risk factors represents an opportunity for significant cost savings.
Ergonomics improves productivity
A job and work environment designed to fit the worker allows for good posture, less exertion and fewer motions. Accordingly, an efficient workstation can increase a worker’s productivity.
Ergonomics improves quality
Pain and discomfort can cause workers to become irritable. Further, frustrated and fatigued workers may not perform their job properly. Consequently, product quality issues may arise due to the lack of proper ergonomics in the workplace.
Ergonomics improves employee engagement
Ergonomics can decrease employee absenteeism, reduce turnover, improve morale and increase employee involvement. Provided that a company has put forth its best efforts to ensure the health and safety of employees.
Ergonomics creates a better safety culture
Cumulatively, the combination of the previously mentioned 4 benefits of workplace ergonomics creates a better safety culture for an organisation. Better employee performance is a result of creating and fostering the health and safety culture of a company.
A SIMPLE GUIDE TO OFFICE ERGONOMICS
Typically, a workstation consists of a desk, chair and equipment to perform desk or computer-based tasks. Companies or organisations should provide adjustable equipment to allow their employees to adapt to workstations.
An adjustable workstation can provide support and comfort for the workers. As a result, workers can productively complete their required tasks.
Here are simple guidelines that can help set up a more comfortable working environment:
- Adjusting the seat height allows the elbows to fall naturally onto the desk, preventing the worker from reaching up or hunching over. There should be a footrest that provides full support for the feet.
- Adjusting the base of the seat allows the thighs to be parallel to the floor. There should be no excess pressure from the chair onto the thighs’ undersides or the calves.
- Adjusting the backrest will position the lumbar support in the small curve of the lower back. This makes the back to be approximately vertical.
- Ergonomic chairs are common ergonomic furniture found in many modern offices. These ergonomically-designed chairs help keep the user sitting upright while supporting the lower back, hips, thighs as well as neck and shoulders.
- Most desks used in an office are typically not adjustable. For this reason, it is essential to have an adjustable chair so that a workstation can be set up properly.
- It is ideal to have adjustable desks in an office as they can accommodate different types of users. Adjustable desks are helpful to people who need to alter their posture regularly to manage symptoms.
- For corner-based workstations, a 45-degree bridging section should be used to position a computer or task to minimise risk of reaching or twisting while working.
Computers & accessories
- The position of computer monitors should be directly in front of the users. Moreover, there should be a one-arm’s length distance between the user and the monitor.
- It is vital to keep a neutral position on the neck while viewing the computer screen. Therefore, the eyes should be level with the top third of the screen.
- Position the monitor at right angles to the windows to minimise screen glare. Also, adjust the screen controls or angle to reduce the glare from overhead lights.
- The position of the keyboard should be directly in front of the user. This way, the keyboard can be operated with the upper arms by the sides of the body. The forearms should be at a 90-degree angle and the wrists in a neutral position in line with the arm.
- Position the mouse as close to the keyboard as possible to minimise overreaching. Make sure the hand is relaxed when operating the mouse and rested when the mouse is not in use.
NEED TO ENHANCE YOUR WORKPLACE’S ERGONOMICS?
You’re now one step closer to creating a better work environment for your business and your employees. Implementing a workplace ergonomics process for your organisation can reduce costs, and improve productivity and product quality.
If you’re looking to improve the ergonomics of your workspaces,contact Agerotoday!
What are the 3 examples of ergonomics?
The 3 examples of ergonomics are physical, cognitive and organisational. Each type of ergonomics differs in the way they affect how people interact with their work environment. They contribute to how effective people are in their work.
What are the 5 aspects of ergonomics?
Safety, ease of use, comfort, aesthetics and productivity/performance are the5 aspects of ergonomics. Ergonomics is a science concerning the relationship between people and their work.
What is the importance of ergonomics in the workplace?
Ergonomics is about modifying work systems and practices for the employee so that the work is safer and more efficient. Successful implementation of ergonomic solutions creates a more productive work environment.
Ergonomics creates a well-designed workspace that promotes good posture, decreases exertion, eliminates awkward postures, decreases repetitive motions, improves reaches and heights, and decreases the need for high-force activities. All of these considerations create more productive employees.What is ergonomics in the office? ›
Ergonomics (say "er-guh-NOM-iks") is the study of the kind of work you do, the environment you work in, and the tools you use to do your job. The goal of office ergonomics is to set up your office work space so that it fits you and the job you are doing.How does ergonomics helps in employees productivity? ›
Implementing ergonomic improvements can reduce the risk factors that lead to discomfort. Ergonomic improvements can reduce the primary risk factors for MSDs, so workers are more efficient, productive, and have greater job satisfaction.How office ergonomics affects employee health and productivity? ›
Ergonomics helps decrease pain, strengthen muscles, and increase blood flow. Combined, this can improve mental insight. The improved moods and focus will allow you and your employees to be more productive and engaged in your work.What makes office work more efficient and increases productivity? ›
It can be helpful to take short breaks, move around, switch locations, put on some music, meditate and eat lunch with your co-workers. Create daily goals and to-do lists to prioritize and delegate your tasks efficiently. This article is for anyone looking to improve their workplace productivity.How would you set up your desk for productivity and ergonomics? ›
Under the desk, make sure there's clearance for your knees, thighs and feet. If the desk is too low and can't be adjusted, place sturdy boards or blocks under the desk legs. If the desk is too high and can't be adjusted, raise your chair. Use a footrest to support your feet as needed.What is ergonomics your answer? ›
Ergonomics is the process of designing or arranging workplaces, products and systems so that they fit the people who use them.What are the ergonomic issues in workplace? ›
- equipment layout and operation.
- lifting, pushing and pulling (manual handling)
- systems and computer programs.
- task, job and workplace design.
- workstation design and height.
Ergonomics is about designing for people.
Defined as the science of fitting a workplace to the user's needs, ergonomics aims to increase efficiency and productivity and reduce discomfort. Think about the angle of your computer monitor, or the height of your desk.
The bottom line is that practicing good ergonomics in the workplace can help office employees and staff avoid injuries at work and help workers to be more efficient and productive. In addition, you can promote a better safety culture, boost morale, and strengthen both company loyalty and a team mentality.
using an ergonomic work position. changing between sitting, standing and walking on a regular basis. placing regularly used items within close proximity to avoid overreaching or having to stand to access objects that are not within easy reach. doing stretches and work exercises on a regular basis.How workplace can affect productivity? ›
High noise level at workplace reduces employees' productivity, and increase errors. Also, the employees' productivity improves with the availability of natural light and good ventilation at the workplace. Effective workplace communication is another key factor to improve workplace environment.How does your workspace affect your productivity? ›
Research has shown that being active within a workspace and moving regularly throughout the day has many benefits, including improving the ability to focus and be productive. That's why an office with diverse space types is especially beneficial.How can you improve work efficiency and productivity? ›
- Take breaks. ...
- Establish realistic goals. ...
- Measure your time. ...
- Commit to deadlines. ...
- Concentrate on your task. ...
- Create a routine. ...
- Design a relaxing work environment. ...
- Develop a healthy balance between work and personal life.
- Encourage Learning Opportunities. ...
- Provide Employees with Technology. ...
- Emphasize Company Culture. ...
- Strengthen Communication Protocols. ...
- Identify and Align Goals with Performance.
- Keep things simple. ...
- Set reminders. ...
- Review goals daily (or at least regularly) ...
- Minimize time-wasting activities. ...
- Use productivity apps. ...
- Motivate your team. ...
- Avoid multitasking. ...
- Offer a wellness program.
Proper office ergonomics, including correct chair height, adequate equipment spacing, good desk posture, and frequent breaks, can help you and your joints stay comfortable at work.How can the office equipment help in the productivity of employees? ›
- #1 Employee Ergonomics.
- #2 Employee Comfort.
- #3 Collaboration and Communication.
- #4 Valuing Employees and Their Needs.
- #5 Staff Morale.
Posture And Positioning
Avoid twisting or bending your trunk or neck. Frequently used items should be positioned directly in front of you and angled upward on a copyholder when working. Keep your shoulders relaxed with your elbows close to your sides. Avoid resting your elbows on the hard surface or edge of your table.
It is important to note that there are three major areas of ergonomics: physical, cognitive, and organizational.
There are five aspects of ergonomics: safety, comfort, ease of use, productivity/performance, and aesthetics. Based on these aspects of ergonomics, examples are given of how products or systems could benefit from redesign based on ergonomic principles.What are the 4 components of ergonomics? ›
Ergonomic Guidelines for Manual Material Handling outlines a proactive action plan in four steps: 1) look for clues, 2) prioritize jobs or improvements, 3) make improvements, and 4) maintain involvement (2007).Why is ergonomics an issue? ›
Poor ergonomics contributes to muscle strain, muscle imbalances, and fatigue. Many muscle strains result from performing the same motion over and over again. These become repetitive stress injuries, which are some of the most common workplace injuries.What is the best way to deal with the problems in ergonomics? ›
The most effective way to control ergonomic hazards is to eliminate the risk factors altogether. Sometimes you can change the tools, equipment, job design, or work area to remove the hazard completely. This is called using “engineering controls.”How ergonomics affects the performance of employees? ›
Ergonomics helps improve employee productivity! When given the right tools, employees can feel more comfortable while in the office, spending less time stressing and more time working.What are the 5 proven benefits of ergonomics in the workplace? ›
- Ergonomics reduces costs. ...
- Ergonomics improves productivity. ...
- Ergonomics improves quality. ...
- Ergonomics improves employee engagement. ...
- Ergonomics creates a better safety culture.
- Energy and personal attitudes. The combination of energy and a person's attitude will play a significant role in determining their productivity in any context, whether work-related or not. ...
- Equipment and resources. ...
- Objectives. ...
- Leadership. ...
- Human Capital (Employee Productivity) Your employees are one of the main factors that can increase productivity and your company's economic growth. ...
- Work Environment. Another set of factors that affect workplace productivity is working conditions. ...
Communication and collaboration – These are two key factors associated with employee productivity at the workplace. A constant flow of communication is necessary to keep teams updated, informed, and engaged. Lack of communication results in silos, therefore reducing employee productivity.How does low productivity affect employees? ›
Low productivity creates a cascade of problems. When there are issues with workflow, poor decision-making or scope creep, it can cause low morale within your entire team. Employees don't want to feel like they're wasting their time. If a project's moving at a snail's pace, they often disengage.
Workplace attitude can affect the presence of innovation and creativity, which can lead to increased productivity. Workers with a positive attitude toward their job and the company are more likely to make helpful suggestions or ideas that help the business grow.What does office productivity mean? ›
DEFINITION. Name. Office Productivity Tools. Description. Office productivity tools are applications that allow for the viewing, creating and modifying of general office documents (e.g. spreadsheets, memos, presentations, letters, personal database, form generation, image editing, etc.).What are the 3 major areas of ergonomics? ›
There are three types of ergonomics: physical, cognitive, and organizational. Each of these differently affects how people interact with their environment, contributing to how effective they are in their work.What are office productivity skills? ›
These can be skills that help an individual excel at his/her job, but they can also be skills that bring teams together to work more effectively for the greater goal. Examples of productivity skills include time management, organizational and planning skills, problem solving and decision making abilities.What is an example of productivity in the workplace? ›
Breaking large projects into smaller tasks. Using the Pomodoro Technique (work in short 25-minute intervals) Developing a restorative morning routine. Prioritizing your to-do list to focus on the most important tasks.How can I be more productive at work office? ›
- Stop multitasking. It's often tempting to try and multitask, juggling numerous workday tasks at any one time. ...
- Set small goals. ...
- Take a break. ...
- The five-minute rule. ...
- Time blocking. ...
- Delegate. ...
- Limit distractions. ...
- Do the hardest thing first.
Ergonomic shoes can be a life saver for people who have suffered from foot or leg pain throughout their lives. Ergonomic garden tools and equipment (like a wheel barrel) can help reduce stress on the hands and wrists.What is ergonomics explain with examples? ›
Ergonomics, from the Greek ergon (work) and nόmos (law), is a discipline that studies the interactions between human activity and the components of this activity (tasks, tools, methods, work environment, etc.) to develop systems that allow people to work in conditions of optimal efficiency, safety and comfort.What are the biggest ergonomic risk factors in an office environment? ›
Ergonomic risk factors are workplace situations that cause wear and tear on the body and can cause injury. These include repetition, awkward posture, forceful motion, stationary position, direct pressure, vibration, extreme temperature, noise, and work stress.What are the 5 aspects of ergonomics? ›
There are five aspects of ergonomics: safety, comfort, ease of use, productivity/performance, and aesthetics. Ergonomics is a science concerned with the 'fit' between people and their work.
- Focus on high-priority tasks. ...
- Reserve 20% of your day for important tasks. ...
- Clean your workspace. ...
- Minimize distractions. ...
- Have a plan for meetings. ...
- Get quality sleep. ...
- Increase your access to sunlight. ...
- Exercise regularly.
- Know how you're spending your time.
- Stick to a daily schedule.
- Tackle the most difficult task first.
- Batch-process similar tasks.
- Set reasonable time limits.
- Learn when to say no.
- Avoid multitasking.
Productivity increases have enabled the U.S. business sector to produce nine times more goods and services since 1947 with a relatively small increase in hours worked. With growth in productivity, an economy is able to produce—and consume—increasingly more goods and services for the same amount of work.